Fluid regulation, muscle contraction and mineral balance in your system would be impossible without potassium, but the most important thing it does is blunt the effects of too much sodium consumption – a common hazard in modern diets because of our heavy reliance on packaged foods.

Potassium helps to flush out sodium and lower blood pressure, so it makes sense to include bananas, papaya, leafy greens, mangoes and eggplant in your diet. These warning signs could be your body’s way of telling you to stock up on potassium.

1. Muscular cramps or weakness. Since potassium plays a major role in proper muscle contraction, a deficiency could be causing cramps, spasms and general bodyache whether it’s through a regular day’s work or when you’re exercising. Eating a banana is an almost instant cure for a muscular cramp.

2. Constant fatigue. If you know you’re getting enough hours of sleep, but still feel tired all the time, it could be because you’re not getting enough potassium from your food especially if your meals lack fresh fruit and veggies and are mostly protein and carb-based.

3. Palpitations or high blood pressure. Blood vessels can become constricted without proper potassium intake, which in turn causes hypertension or high blood pressure. Palpitations result from the heart muscle facing pumping problems. Both these signs point to a medical consultation and a check for potassium levels.

4. Dizziness and tingling sensations. A large drop in potassium levels can cause your heartbeat to slow right down, making you feel faint. If you often feel dizzy when getting up to stand from a sitting or lying position, or get tingling sensations in your limbs, it could indicate low potassium levels, so it’s best to get it checked out.